A migraine is good for creative types, because it has to do with your brain. The brain and the lungs are the best sites for artistic diseases. Lung problems give you coughing, and coughing is a clear, dramatic, and not-too-gross way of showing your suffering. (See “La Boheme.”) A lot of artists have genital diseases, which stamp a certain romantic passport– they could be a sign of a life lived big and well. It could mean you are really sexy. On the other hand, they may either limit your future romantic options, or, in this day and age, be too easily dismissed with penicillin to even be noticed. So I’m going to insist that brain is best. If your brain thing messes with your perception of the world, even better. My brain symptoms are more about accidentally tripping over a stair, and not being able to see straight, but seeing straight is so bourgeoise, anyway. Migraines, depression, addiction– all juicy mind problems. Very romantic.
Yesterday, the migraine and I went clothes shopping, because I had wanted to do that on my three-day weekend, damnit, and I was going to go, just slower than usual. I flipped through a rack of t-shirts and when one fell down, because I’d yanked it wrong, I wanted to kill it. Someone bumped into me, trying to get by, and I wanted to kill her, too. In the dressing room, I gingerly took my clothes off, and put the prospective clothes on, slowly, slowly. I banged my elbow on the metal divider. Loud and hard. I’m so clumsy, I’ve done this in perfect health, but it still made me mad. Why was I feeling this way? The anger at being sick is worse than the sickness, for me. I was mad at the sun shining in my eyes at the video store, mad at the huge selection of acrylic paint tubes at Coldsnow. There were too many to look at and figure out. Mimi would have coughed all over the canvases. Buy one get one free.
Being stuck with your thoughts has turned a lot of people creative, just out of self-preservation. If you can run away from yourself fast enough, maybe you don’t have to build things or get troubled about what it all means. I had no chronic childhood illness to confine me to books and fantasies. I love those stories of sick kids and tortured kids and disabled kids becoming artists, though. You were stuck, so you had to make something of it. Were you talented before your scarlet fever? Who knows?
I think I have a migraine when my body and brain are so overwhelmed that they are forced to pull the plug on me. They know it will take extreme measures to make me pull the car over, so they shut down. I pull over. I rest. That’s a little story I made up to set some sense into possibly random events, to make something interesting or neat with it. It’s just my habit.